The biggest expense is feeding her. She's on Similac Alimentum formula (almost twice as expensive as normal formula, in case you didn't know, and twice as smelly) because it seems she has quite the sensitive tummy. In addition, following a modified barium swallow test we had done several months ago (did I mention that somewhere? I can't remember...) it was advised that we thicken her bottles with a gel thickener. The test showed she was at risk for aspirating non-thickened liquids (sucking them into her lungs). And then there's the Prevacid that she takes twice a day because of her reflux. And the purees she eats every day.
Here's a rundown of our monthly "feed Amelia" bill:
- $28/can of formula - we need two a week. Luckily I usually have some sort of coupon or formula check, so I'm gonna call this $23/can in reality. = $184
- $65ish/case of gel thickener - we need two per month = $130
- $ .50/Gerber puree, which she eats two of a day (occasionally I have coupons for this or catch a good sale, but typically they are $ .99 per two-pack) = $30
- $25 copay for Prevacid once a month
- $4 for her prophylactic antibiotic for the UTIs
$373 a month
And that's without diapers, wipes, and any other odds and ends we may need along the way.
Throw in another $100/week for the babysitter (I know, we get off cheap compared to a lot of people!), and that means my child costs about $773 a month. HOLY CRAP. Oh, and did I mention a $15 copay every time we go to the doctor or have had tests run? I can't even begin to calculate that. (Well, I could...but I'm too lazy.)
The plan has been to start weaning her off the expensive stuff and Prevacid, but so far we haven't been successful. It's worth it, of course, to keep her happy and healthy. Like this:
But if this continues, she'd better find a job before she hits kindergarten.